Residents mourn Zahnia’s death

* The last photo of Zahnia Thorne Woodward, six months old, taken moments before she was shot in crossfire.

Ocean View residents hosted a candle-light vigil for six-month-old baby Zahnia Thorne Woodward, who was shot dead in crossfire on Friday December 30.

The daughter of Bradley Robyn and Cindy Tania Woodward, was killed in a shootout in Carnation Road, Ocean View, which wounded three men.

Captain Masiza Ponco, head of visible policing at Ocean View police station confirmed the shooting and said the three men shot in the same incident were later discharged from False Bay Hospital.

But baby Zahnia didn’t come home from the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.

The vigil was held for her on Monday night. The community came out in full strength to mourn this young victim of violence and to call once again for a gun-free, crime-free environment.

Family friend Kayla van Buisbergen, who took photos at the vigil, said hundreds of community members had showed up.

Some were silent, some shed tears of compassion and frustration, some spoke out. All prayed.

“It was amazing to see Ocean View coming together as one to support Cindy and Brad. Zanie’s legacy will forever live on. RIP angel,” Kayla said.

Ms Woodward, said she lost her entire world when her daughter was killed in the gun fire. She is racked with grief, with anger and has said she doesn’t want her baby’s death to be in vain.

“People are telling me to be careful and not to speak out. Why? Why do we live in fear – our silence is what gives them power. I fear no gangster in my community – there’s nothing more they can take away from me,” she said.

She has raged against gangsterism on Facebook and said she hoped the gangsters consciences would bother them the rest of their lives.

Imagine that every person who came to her vigil joined up and we went from gangster house to gangster house, and told them: no. No more. That is one person against a community. What could they do?”

She described arriving home from work to the news that her baby had been shot. “My legs gave in, I went numb.” Bradley, who had been shot in leg, had driven Zahnia to hospital himself,”she said.. Cindy was taken to False Bay Hospital where she was able to travel with Zahnia to Red Cross Childrens Hospital. “I had been told that the bullet was in my baby’s brain, that she would have brain damage. I held her and told her she could let go, that was no life for her…and she flat lined in the ambulance.”

Cindy says her baby was declared dead on arrival at Red Cross Hospital.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said the suspect arrested for the shooting was from Hout Bay, and that the organised crime unit was continuing to investigate the incident. He appeared briefly in Wynberg Court on Tuesday January 3 and his next appearance in court will be Friday January 13

Cindy discounts rumours that the bullet that hit Zahnia had first gone through Bradley’s leg. She spoke to the False Bay Echo from the lounge of her home, still shell-shocked.

“I can barely sleep. Everywhere I look there is a reminder of her. A sock, a vest, a photo. She was the happiest little baby. My community has been really wonderful in their support. I want us all to stand together against gangsters – so that no one else has to lose their entire world, like this, again.”